“Please” and “Thank you” are powerful words, too often under-appreciated and underused. These words shape nations and steer the course of history. A happier, healthier world may be enjoyed when we use those two words with sincere hearts.
The account of that first thanksgiving is staggering! Remember, a year after their arrival in the new world half of the pilgrims were dead from malnutrition, cold and sickness. Instead of calling for a shake-your-fist-at-God protest rally they called for thanksgiving!
Do you see what faith and character are required to give thanks? Picture yourself with half of your family gone or having buried half of your community. Those people were true God fearers, focusing not on their entitlements but on the merciful God.
To give thanks when all is well is something we teach our children. To give thanks when all is less than well is something only the mature can stomach. The Bible teaches us to give thanks even in persecution, in hardship and trial. When I see people actually doing this I am stupefied with admiration.
Sadly most holidays have been neutered of their potency. We set off fireworks but forget the meaning of independence. We share presents but forget the Advent. We barbecue and play a round of golf, but don’t remember those who have fallen. In the case of Thanksgiving we eat to gluttony but forget, those two powerful words.
Lord, help us recover lost and stolen meaning and be people of gratitude!
Steven C Johnson
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.